Vegas signs Alex Pietrangelo to $61.6M, seven-year contract
Alex Pietrangelo is in Vegas and the Golden Knights are shuffling the deck to accommodate him.
Pietrangelo signed a seven-year contract with Vegas for $ 61.6 million on Monday with an annual salary cap of $ 8.8 million through 2027. This is the fifth largest cap for a defender in the NHL.
Adding the best free agent available gives Vegas another great talent, but the team had to take another step to lose the salary just to add it. Before the Golden Knights signed Pietrangelo's contract, they traded defender Nate Schmidt for the Vancouver Canucks for a selection from the third round in 2022, clearing his $ 5.95 million cap from the books.
Now that team Paul Stastny has already been sent to Winnipeg, the team will likely have to take another step, such as goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury, to hit the cap early next season.
But Pietrangelo, who finished fourth in the Norris Trophy poll and is one of the best right-shooters in the league, is doing Vegas better.
The 30-year-old is leaving the St. Louis Blues after serving as captain of his 2019 Stanley Cup championship team. Pietrangelo scores 16 goals in his career despite having abandoned the season in 70 games.
Pietrangelo has 109 goals and 341 assists for 450 points in 758 NHL regular season games. He had the best 16 assists of the season and an average of 26 minutes of ice time during the Blues' Cup run.
"He's been a strong player for us and this team for a number of years," said Doug Armstrong, general manager of the Blues, on Friday night. “A large part of a team with championship caliber. It will go down as one of the best blues of all time. "
St. Louis switched from Pietrangelo, a local prospect who was number 4 in the 2008 draft before he did. The Blues signed former Boston Bruins defender Torey Krug on Friday on a seven-year contract for $ 45.5 million.
"We couldn't find anything that made everyone comfortable," said Armstrong. "It's not the first time, it won't be the last time this happens in the NHL. You just wish it hadn't happened because of the respect and desire to keep Alex here."
Pietrangelo is the last of the best free agents to find a landing pad after Taylor Hall signed an $ 8 million one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabers on Monday. Krug was the other, and winger Mike Hoffman is the best player in the market after a season of 29 goals and 59 points with the Florida Panthers.
Hall took the opposite approach of Pietrangelo and Krug, with the cap remaining unchanged given the revenue devastated by the pandemic.
"We knew it was going to be a unique marketplace for free agencies," Hall said on Tuesday. “When the free agency started, we were made aware pretty quickly of how much things had changed and how COVID had affected a lot of different things. From then on, it changed our decision-making. "
Pietrangelo had wanted to stay in St. Louis, but Krug's signing changed his decision-making. The Toronto native flew to Las Vegas on Saturday to meet with the Golden Knights, a visit that paved the way for this contract.
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